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impersonal

[im-pur-suh-nl] /ɪmˈpɜr sə nl/
adjective
1.
not personal; without reference or connection to a particular person:
an impersonal remark.
2.
having no personality; devoid of human character or traits:
an impersonal deity.
3.
lacking human emotion or warmth:
an impersonal manner.
4.
Grammar.
  1. (of a verb) having only third person singular forms and rarely if ever accompanied by an expressed subject, as Latin pluit “it is raining,” or regularly accompanied by an empty subject word, as English to rain in It is raining.
  2. (of a pronoun or pronominal reference) indefinite, as French on “one.”.
noun
5.
Grammar. an impersonal verb or pronoun.
Origin
1510-1520
1510-20; < Late Latin impersōnālis. See im-2, personal
Related forms
impersonally, adverb
superimpersonal, adjective
superimpersonally, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for impersonally
  • Scientists sometimes present global warming impersonally.
  • They seem to lack all power of looking at things impersonally.
  • Bond can take punishment and dish it out, impersonally.
  • The clerk dealt with me as she dealt with everyone: correctly and impersonally.
  • People being observed should not be treated impersonally, and their integrity as individuals must be honored.
  • He approached problems coolly, rationally, and impersonally.
  • No worthwhile transactions can be completed quickly or impersonally.
  • He distinguishes between services that are personally-delivered and those that are impersonally-delivered.
  • Corrective action should be imposed as impersonally as possible.
British Dictionary definitions for impersonally

impersonal

/ɪmˈpɜːsənəl/
adjective
1.
without reference to any individual person; objective: an impersonal assessment
2.
devoid of human warmth or sympathy; cold: an impersonal manner
3.
not having human characteristics: an impersonal God
4.
(grammar) (of a verb) having no logical subject. Usually in English the pronoun it is used in such cases as a grammatical subject, as for example in It is raining
5.
(grammar) (of a pronoun) not denoting a person
Derived Forms
impersonality, noun
impersonally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for impersonally

impersonal

adj.

mid-15c., a grammatical term, from Late Latin impersonalis, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + personalis "personal" (see personal). Sense of "not connected with any person" is from 1620s; that of "not endowed with personality" is from 1842. Related: impersonally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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